Questioning the premise of your preparations

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Doing dumb things doesn't make you safer

My apologies if you’re not a fan of the show South Park, but an old episode has a training lesson for us.

On that episode, some little people known as Underpants Gnomes presented their 3-part success plan:

Phase 1: Steal underpants.
Phase 2: ???
Phase 3: Profit!

The joke, of course, isn’t that there’s nothing in Phase 2; it’s that you can’t ...

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On last night’s Training Talk: can you see the light?

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PDN Training Talk With Grant Cunningham

A cryptic name for an episode? Maybe, but then again maybe it’s perfect!

My Special Guest Experts were Andy Loeffler and Joshua Gideon. Andy and I talked about a long-running experiment he did with some students and their ability to see when under stress. It was — if you’ll pardon the pun — an eye-opening discussion!

Joshua and I talked ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for November 30, 2016

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A really interesting List this week! We start with geese as a defensive tool (no, I’m not kidding); considerations to make before deciding to engage an active killer; a woman is dead because of an irresponsible and untrained gun owner; women shopping for defensive handguns; what to do and what not to do at a drive-through; how to secure private information on your smartphone; and how to use that phone to deal with 9-1-1.

 

A feathery alternative to the Rottweiler?

I’ll admit ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for November 23, 2016

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I know everyone is pressed for time this holiday week, so I’ll keep it short — but I won’t skimp on the quality! This week: why tiny .380 pistols are a problem; what to do when violent protestors surround your car; Greg Ellifritz has some lessons from bombings around the world; what you need to know about guns around kids; and Marcus Wynne has some good advice on teaching small children personal security concepts.

 

Ultra-Compact .380s: not what they’re cracked up ...

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EDC Trauma Kits and Reality Based Training on last night’s Training Talk!

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PDN Training Talk With Grant Cunningham

I had a couple of great discussions with Rob Pincus and Caleb Causey on last night’s Training Talk show!

Rob talked about reality based training, force-on-force, and scenario training. Lots of people in the business use those terms interchangeably, but as Rob points out they’re not synonymous. It’s completely possible to have reality based training without running scenarios, and ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for November 16, 2016

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I found some more good stuff this week: a look at mindset; how to properly lock the slide open on a pistol; being aware of the psychopaths in your midst; how to avoid getting stomped in a fight; some thoughts on security in hotels; Greg Ellifritz looks at surviving the mob around your car; and thinking about vacation preparedness.

 

Are you really ready to defend yourself?

I’m sharing this article because it has some great information on preparing yourself mentally for the realities ...

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“You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

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The quote is from comedian Steven Wright.

Wright is right. Think about it the next time someone says that the path to situational awareness is to see everything.

You know what I mean: “Look for out-of-state license plates.” “What color shoes are the people in the restaurant wearing?” “Do you know how many left handers are in the room?”

The trouble is that it’s not the shoes, or the license plates, which are going to hurt you. And, unless someone postulates a very high ...

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Standards and integrity

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Lots of people have standards they steadfastly defend, even when those standards have no integrity. What does that mean?

I was recently told of a defensive shooting “standard” for draw-to-first-shot time, one that a lot of instructors apparently use in their classes: 1.5 seconds if the gun is carried openly, or 2 seconds from concealment.

That seems quite odd to me. Not the times themselves, mind you — the fact there are two of them.

If you have a draw-to-first-shot standard for a ...

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I learned something on Training Talk last night!

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Last night’s Training Talk episode was a great one!

My special guest was Klint Macro with The Trigger Presser’s Union, and we had an in-depth discussion about defensive preparations for gun owners. He recently wrote an article for PDN about the topic, but in our discussion we went further into the topic — and then he gave me a teaching idea I’d never heard (and never would have thought of on my own.)

No, I’m not going to tell ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for November 2, 2016

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Another Wednesday brings more great defense and preparedness information! This week: how to make a response plan for a terrorist attack; an armed intervention gone horribly wrong; some novel methods to deter people from your home; some online privacy and security tips; considering the dynamics of criminal attacks; preparing for a power outage; a great pistol-caliber carbine to consider; Greg Ellifritz looks at the need to recognize gunshots. Enjoy!

 

“Why” may not matter — deal with the problem as you face it

How ...

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Time is running out to sign up for Threat-Centered Revolver in Arizona!

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Just a month from now I’ll be teaching my Threat-Centered Revolver class in sunny Phoenix, and if you want to attend you need to book now!

December 3 & 4 I’ll be at Phoenix Firearms Training, basking in the warm sun and teaching responsible revolver owners how to defend themselves with the classic double action revolver. Whether you’ve got a snubnose you use as a backup gun or a full-size revolver you keep for home defense, this is the ...

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Generally speaking, you shouldn’t specialize.

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If your goal is to make you and your family safer, to learn how to survive dangerous events, you need a generalist’s perspective.

That’s because there are a wide range of things you need to know to make safety happen consistently, which means that you need to study and prepare in many different areas — most of which have little overlap. Most importantly, you need to know how everything works together to protect you.

In order to learn about each of those ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 26, 2016

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Once again, a great crop of stories for you! In this issue: another look at defending yourself from someone you know; an alarm system that will cuddle and lick your face; expanding on the idea of training your kids how to respond; some Halloween safety tips; should you shoot a burglar?; the right way to clear bad guys from your home; Greg Ellifritz looks at how you might respond to a shooting in an isolated area; and Rob Pincus has ...

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More great information on Training Talk this week!

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If you missed last night’s episode of Training Talk, you missed some great information!

My first guest was Tyler Grant of Dynamic Training Strategies, and we discussed continuing goals in defensive fitness: how to plan for success no matter where you’re starting your journey.

Then, Julie Loeffler from Mid-Ohio IMB came on and talked about how people new to the idea of self defense can take those initial and sometimes confusing steps into the training world.

In addition, I talked about clown sightings, ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 19, 2016

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Welcome to Wednesday! Here’s some more great personal safety and self defense information: someone survived a hurricane because of common-sense preparation; a Halloween horror story with a happy ending; winter holidays have many opportunities for crime; poker and its relation to self defense; a look at the shotgun as a home defense tool; a warning shot goes horribly wrong; Greg Ellifritz looks at the .22 revolver in a different light; taking your trauma kit with you while shooting. Enjoy and ...

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Do you need to modify your carry gun? Should you?

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In the dim past (which wasn’t really all that long ago), if you needed to change something on your carry gun you took it to a gunsmith. You’d wait for him to do the work, pay him lots of money, and go home happy — more or less.

That was the state of things largely because making the available guns suitable for concealed carry and self defense required modifications. In fact, not all that many years ago it was difficult just to find ...

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Will your kids know what to do in an emergency?

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One of my recurring nightmares (probably influenced by television) is being in a critical, terrifyingly dangerous situation with my wife. In every episode of this nightmare she can’t see the danger coming and I’m forced to yell instructions to her — instructions on either what do do (“run!”) or what not to do (“stay still!”) Instead of trusting my judgement, she uncharacteristically turns around and starts arguing! She’s then promptly swallowed by the expanding chasm, or eaten by the devilish apparition, or ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 12, 2016

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Is it Wednesday already? Well, no fear — I have information for you! Today: a look at the problems with secure areas, especially when they’re really secure; an article explaining striker-fired pistols; a civil suit can be worse than the criminal trial; Greg Ellifritz shares how NOT to take care of your carry gun; Sheriff Jim Wilson looks at “scanning”; what training overload is and how to avoid it; some information about kidnappings; if you’re at work when a disaster ...

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Things People Say: “I want to buy a gun to keep myself safe”

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Anyone who’s been around guns for any length of time eventually gets asked for advice: “I want to buy a gun to keep myself safe. What should I get?”

It’s tempting to launch into a discussion about shotguns versus rifles versus handguns, or maybe about 9mm versus .40 S&W, striker-fired versus double action/single action, or even revolver versus autoloader. That’s what “gun people” talk about: the hardware and the technical minutiae surrounding it.

In reality, though, instead of doing a sales job ...

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Less-lethal defense options on last night’s Training Talk!

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Last night’s Training Talk episode was full of great information about less-lethal self defense tools!

My special guest, Jarrod Needs, and I discussed the various kinds of less-lethal defensive options: their strengths, weaknesses, along with the silly and the useless. If you missed it, don’t worry — you can watch the replay just by clicking on this link!

– Grant Cunningham

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Your Hump Day Reading List for October 5, 2016

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Another Wednesday, another Reading List! In today’s list: learning to fight back; knowing where your line in the sand is; the police probably aren’t going to save you; what not to do when your attacker is in your face; getting your gun ready when you don’t yet need to shoot; a sad case of someone who didn’t understand when the fight was over; preparing for winter storms; and Greg Ellifritz teaches us to look for opportunities. Read, learn, and share!

 

Model ...

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Do you want to be a better shooter or a better defender?

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I received quite a number of emails, blog comments and social media interaction about Friday’s topic, “Meaningless increments of precision.”

A large percentage of them asked questions or made statements which revealed that the person was fixated on the notion that becoming a better shooter makes or keeps someone safer. This is going to sound strange coming from a “gun guy”, and it’s going to make a lot of gun guys (and gals) mad, but that’s a really bad notion.

Because ...

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Meaningless increments of precision — and why you should avoid them

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When we talk about self defense (and particularly when gun people talk about self defense), the topic of measurement will eventually come up. In the gun world we love to measure things, and we can measure just about anything. The problem is that the measurements we make may not be important.

I use the term “meaningless increments of precision” to refer to those measurements which don’t add to our self protection knowledge or to our ability to defend ourselves. The measurement ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 28, 2016

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Today’s Hump Day Reading List includes how to deal with negative reactions to your defensive firearms; why you can’t just run down people even if they’re blocking your path; pickpockets are very good at what they do; a look at specialized concealed carry clothing; Greg Ellifritz looks at self defense from a new perspective; how to escape a riot on foot; and Claude Werner points out that killing someone, even in self defense, isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. ...

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The difference between doctrine and dogma

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The world of self defense seems to be full of polarizing opinions. While it can be said that any field of specialization has its strong opinions (and adherents to them), my observation is that this one is by far the most Balkanized. It doesn’t matter how you look at it, someone else will see it very differently and be ready with a quick retort to your point of view. The disagreements are almost religious in nature, with all the trappings ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 21, 2016

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More great self defense articles this week, including: Julie Loeffler takes a look at common concealment methods for women; a realistic approach to defending schools; Greg Ellifritz shows you what to do if your attacker has pepper spray; the Taurus Judge is a joke for self defense; how to tell if the place you’re in is about to get dangerous; why you should carry more than one trauma kit; and dissecting the post-shooting “scan”. As always, you’ll find something you ...

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Choosing a defensive handgun: making the best of bad alternatives

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An interesting question came up in a class I taught recently. It had to do with defensive carry firearm recommendations in states which restrict the models available for sale (such as in Massachusetts and California.) How is someone to pick the best of the worst options?

The attributes of an ideal defensive handgun

When picking a defensive firearm, particularly one which is to be carried for personal defense, I always recommend that the gun:

1) Be reliable above all else; the gun needs ...

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Appendix carry, women’s self defense, and MORE on last night’s Training Talk episode!

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If you’re not watching my Training Talk show on Personal Defense network, you’re missing out on some great self defense and personal security information!

Take last night’s show, for instance. My guests were Barret Kendrick from Bearco Training, who showed us how to properly and safely draw and re-holster a gun carried in the appendix position, and Julie Loeffler of Mid-Ohio IMB who talked about how women can cut through the nonsense and get started in self defense training. ...

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Your Hump Day Reading List for September 14, 2016

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More great information to keep you safe! This week: don’t take your gun off in the restroom; Rob Pincus has some resources to learn how to appendix carry safely; why martial arts aren’t the be-all, end-all of self defense; Greg Ellifritz considers the importance of medical gear in a class; teaching kids to be safe, not afraid; how to live with a red dot when your vision isn’t perfect; taking the collective mood of your environment; and how to buy ...

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Defensive education is changing, for the better. Take advantage of it!

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“I think the late 90’s is where things started to shift because of dash/surveillance cameras becoming much more common and force-on-force scenario training taking huge leaps forward. The ramifications of those evolutionary forces are starting to be seen much more commonly. I hope in 10 years we look back and realize that right now we were only just scratching the surface of getting away from the isolated skill (marksmanship) and choreography (competition) based approaches.” – Rob Pincus

Those who ...

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